I follow a blog, marc & angel HACK LIFE, that has lots of good, interesting ideas throughout it. At the end of one particular entry, Marc Chernoff writes, “But above all, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Life is short, yet amazing. Enjoy the ride.” I second the motion. It’s advice I wish I had followed everyday of my life. But, you live and learn, and life goes on. The operative word there is “learn.”
So, today I’d like to quote a part of one of Marc’s writings. As a matter of fact it’s there that I got the quote from the previous paragraph. The name of this particular entry is 18 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18. It has lots of advice that would have been great to tell yourself when you were 18. Things like “Commit yourself to making lots of mistakes,” “Find hard work you love doing,” and “Invest time, energy and money in yourself every day.” They’re all good ideas. I wish they, and many more like them, had been drilled into my thick skull before I’d left home.
When I read this one point Marc was trying to impress upon the reader it sounded as though it was me talking to myself when I was 18. This particular idea was something that I had thought about often. I wanted to travel, try new things, and think new ideas. I might have accomplished some of that, more in the past 15 years than the previous…well, never mind how many previous years there are. Just know that there has been a bunch of them, and each was filled with as much new experience I could muster at that particular time in life.
Marc writes: “Explore new ideas and opportunities often. – Your natural human fears of failure and embarrassment will sometimes stop you from trying new things. But you must rise above these fears, for your life’s story is simply the culmination of many small, unique experiences. And the more unique experiences you have, the more interesting your story gets. So seek as many new life experiences as possible and be sure to share them with the people you care about.”
I think Marc and I attended the same school for life. We may not have studied at the feet of the same instructors, but we seem to have studied along the same lines of thought. Life is too short to not make the attempt to have as many “small, unique experiences” as we can.
We’re not all cut out to be world travelers, but we’re all alive and breathing. We all have the opportunity to experience each and every day that which we had not experienced in the past. Something new, something unique.
As my grandfather said, we should make an attempt to learn something new each day. Add to that the challenge of experiencing something new each day and you have yourself the beginning of a great story—a story you should share with the ones you care about. The telling of those experiences might just be the small push that leads a child to become a famous scientist, a doctor, a space traveler, or a great leader.
The art of story telling has changed through the years. Sitting around a fire listening to the village elder tell of the great hunts and terrifying battles turned into volumes of printed word, keeping the reader engaged with the expectation of new adventure at every turn of the page.
Now the future is upon us with instant messaging and video. But all along it’s been the story that counts, not the method of telling. It was important in the past, is in the present, and will be just as important in the future. The story needs to be told. What story?, you ask. We’re talking about your story, of course. Tell it how you will, and often as you can. Future depends on hearing about the past, even if it is only a small slice of what one person has experienced.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.